A black flag accompanied by a car number is shown to a driver to signal their disqualification from the race. If racing, the driver must return to the pits and take no further part in the Grand Prix.
A black flag is a rare sight in Formula 1 and is only awarded by the stewards when there is a serious violation of a rule. Illegal car changes and exiting the pits while the red light is flashing are some of the most common reasons for receiving a black flag, with Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella being the latest victims of the latter during the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix.
There have been just over ten black flag incidents in Formula 1. Let's delve deeper and look at the top 10 black flag incidents scattered throughout the long history of Formula 1.
#10 Jarno Trulli - Austria 2001
Driving the Jordan-Honda, Jarno Trulli had a very good qualifying session that saw him start the Austrian Grand Prix from the fifth place. Due to problems with launch control, the Italian driver along with three others stalled on the grid at the start of the race, forcing a safety car on the very first lap.
He made it to the pits to restart his session. However, due to an error in judgement, Trulli left the pit lane with the red light still flashing, which triggered a black flag from race control.
#9 Juan Pablo Montoya - USA 2004
Juan Pablo Montoya's first black flag came in 2004 at the United States Grand Prix. The Colombian's first-choice Williams-BMW failed to start, and this made Montoya start the race with his spare car from the pit lane.
Montoya recovered quickly and was soon fighting for places at the top of the grid. His disqualification came on lap 57 when the stewards decided to show him a black flag for changing his car right before the start of the race.